What resources are available for seniors in Arizona struggling to pay bills?

Seniors and older Americans are being impacted especially hard by the recent inflation. Many are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 9:49 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As Americans deal with tighter budgets and a lower quality of life as a result of interest rate hikes, soaring inflation costs, and supply chain shortages, many older Americans are being hit especially hard.

According to a recent National Council of Aging report, roughly one in four seniors and older adults depend on social security benefits for 90 percent of their income. Another half of them depend on those benefits for about half of their total income. While the 2022 cost-of-living adjustment helped provide some relief, with a 5.9 percent increase issued in January, it’s not keeping up with the 8.6 percent inflation rate reported by the federal government.

Good Morning Arizona spoke with Linda Gastelum from Keogh Health Connection, part of Valley nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa, to talk about some resources available for those most vulnerable in our community. There are several benefits like SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps, that some seniors may not even know their eligible for. In addition, those on Medicare can help lower out-of-pocket health care expenses through programs like the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy and Medicare Savings Programs.

“We often notice that most who seek help want a helping hand, not always a hand-out,” the nonprofit said.

Not only that, but older Americans can also get help paying for their utilities using Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to lower their power bill. Free or low-cost internet is also available through the Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program.